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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Broad Creek, Cedar Creek, and Nanticoke River, DE

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operation Start Printed Page 37025regulations of four Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) bridges: The Poplar Street Bridge, at mile 8.2, and the US 13A Bridge, at mile 8.2, both across Broad Creek in Laurel, DE; the SR 36 Bridge, at mile 0.5, over Cedar Creek in Cedar Beach; and SR 13 Bridge, at mile 39.6, across Nanticoke River in Seaford, DE. This proposal would allow the bridges to open on signal if advance notice is given at different times from 4 to 48 hours. This proposal will eliminate the continual attendance of draw tender services during the non-peak boating periods while still providing the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 14, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 1st Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004. The Fifth Coast Guard District maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6222.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking CGD05-06-044, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like a return receipt, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all submittals received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

DelDOT, who owns and operates the Poplar Street Bridge and the US 13A Bridge, at mile 8.2, both across Broad Creek in Laurel; the SR 36 Bridge, at mile 0.5, over Cedar Creek in Cedar Beach; and the SR 13 Bridge, at mile 39.6, across Nanticoke River in Seaford, requested advance notification for vessel openings and a reduction in draw tender services for the following explanations:

Broad Creek

In the closed-to-navigation position, the Poplar Street Bridge, mile 8.2, and the US 13A Bridge, mile 8.2, both in Laurel, have vertical clearances of five feet and two feet, above mean high water, and eight feet and five feet, above mean low water, respectively. The existing operating regulations for these drawbridges are set out in 33 CFR 117.233, which requires the bridges, along with the Conrail Bridge (at mile 8.0) in Laurel, to open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

DelDOT provided information to the Coast Guard about the conditions and reduced operational capabilities of the draw spans. Due to the infrequency of requests for vessel openings of the drawbridge for the past 10 years, DelDOT requested to change the current operating regulations by requiring the draw spans to open on signal if at least 48 hours notice is given year-round.

Cedar Creek

The SR 36 Bridge, at mile 0.5 in Cedar Beach, has a vertical clearance of two feet, above mean high water, and six feet, above mean low water, in the closed-to-navigation position. The existing regulation is listed at 33 CFR 117.5, which requires the bridge to open on signal.

Bridge opening data submitted by DelDOT revealed significantly fewer openings at certain hours of the night in the spring and summer months; and during the fall and winter months. The bridge logs also show the majority of drawbridge openings were performed year-round between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The proposed change will require the draw to open on signal from April 1 through November 30, except from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., when at least four hours notice must be given. From 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., from December 1 through March 31, the draw would open on signal. At all other times, the draw would open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

These changes are being requested to reduce bridge tender services required at the SR 36 Bridge due to the decrease in vessel opening requests.

Nanticoke River

The SR 13 Bridge, at mile 39.6, in Seaford has a vertical clearance of three feet, above mean high water and seven feet, above mean low water in the closed-to-navigation position. The existing regulation is listed at 33 CFR 117.5, which requires the bridge to open on signal.

Bridge opening data submitted by DelDOT revealed significantly fewer openings between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the spring and summer months; and on weekdays in the fall and winter months.

The proposed change would require the draw to open on signal from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 through October 31; and at all other times, if at least four hours notice is given. From 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., from November 1 through March 31, on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), the draw would open on signal; and at all other times, if at least four hours notice is given.

These changes are being requested to reduce bridge tender services required at the SR 13 Bridge due to the decrease in vessel opening requests.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

Broad Creek

The Coast Guard proposes to revise 33 CFR 117.233, which governs the Conrail Bridge, mile 8.0, the Poplar Street bridge, mile 8.2 and the US 13A bridge, mile 8.2, all in Laurel.

The current paragraph would be divided into paragraphs (a) and (b). Paragraph (a) would contain the existing rule for the Conrail Bridge, mile 8.0, in Laurel and would state that the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

Paragraph (b) would contain the proposed rules for the Poplar Street Bridge, mile 8.2 and the US 13A Bridge, mile 8.2, both in Laurel. The proposals would require the drawbridges to open on signal if at least 48 hours notice is given.

Cedar Creek

A new section, 117.234, would be inserted to allow SR 36 Bridge, mile 0.5 in Cedar Beach, to open on signal from April 1 through November 30, except from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., if at least four hours notice is given.Start Printed Page 37026

From December 1 through March 31, from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the draw would open on signal; and at all other times, if at least four hours notice is given.

Nanticoke River

In 33 CFR 117.243, this proposed rule redesignate paragraphs (a) through (c) as paragraph (a)(1) through (a)(3). The redesignated paragraph (a) would contain the existing rules for the Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge, mile 39.4, at Seaford. The contact information for advance notice at the Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge would be changed to the “train dispatcher” vice “bridge tender” and the new telephone numbers at (717) 215-0379 or (609) 412-4338.

The redesignated paragraph (b) would contain the proposed rules for the SR 13 Bridge, mile 39.6, in Seaford. The proposed rule would require the draw to open on signal from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 through October 31; and at all other times, if at least four hours notice is given. From 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., from November 1 through March 31, on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), the draw would open on signal; and at all other times, if at least four hours notice is given.

Text modifications to be consistent with other proposed changes would be made in these paragraphs, as appropriate.

Regulatory Evaluation

This proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning, and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. We reached this conclusion based on the fact that the proposed changes have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. Mariners can plan their trips in accordance with the proposed scheduled bridge openings, to minimize delays.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the rule only adds minimal restrictions to the movement of navigation, and mariners who plan their transits in accordance with the proposed scheduled bridge openings can minimize delay.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, and (757) 398-6222. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

Collection of Information

This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office Start Printed Page 37027of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Technical Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, we believe that this rule should be categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an “Environmental Analysis Check List” is not required for this rule. Comments on this section will be considered before we make the final decision on whether to categorically exclude this rule from further environmental review.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

End List of Subjects

Regulations

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

Start Part

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

End Authority

2. Revise § 117.233 to read as follows:

Broad Creek.

(a) The draw of the Conrail Bridge, mile 8.0 at Laurel, shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

(b) The draws of the Poplar Street Bridge, mile 8.2, and the US 13A Bridge, mile 8.2, all at Laurel, shall open on signal if at least 48 hours notice is given.

3. Add new § 117.234 to read as follows:

Cedar Creek.

The SR 36 Bridge, mile 0.5 in Cedar Beach, shall open on signal; except that from April 1 through November 30 from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.; and from December 1 through March 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

4. Revise § 117.243 to read as follows:

Nanticoke River.

(a) The draw of the Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge, mile 39.4 in Seaford, will operate as follows:

(1) From March 15 through November 15, the draw will open on signal for all vessels except that from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. at least 21/2 hours notice will be required.

(2) At all times, from November 16 through March 14, the draw will open on signal if at least 21/2 hours notice is given.

(3) When notice is required, the owner operator of the vessel must provide the train dispatcher with an estimated time of passage by calling (717) 215-0379 or (609) 412-4338.

(b) The draw of the SR 13 Bridge, mile 39.6 in Seaford, shall open on signal, except that from April 1 through October 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.; and from November 1 through March 31, Monday to Friday; and from November 1 through March 31, on Saturday and Sunday, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

Start Signature

Dated: June 16, 2006.

Larry L. Hereth,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-10247 Filed 6-28-06; 8:45 am]

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